Author: Kim Fielding
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Small but mighty—that could be Detective Nevin Ng’s motto. Now a dedicated member of the Portland Police Bureau, he didn’t let a tough start in life stop him from protecting those in need. He doesn’t take crap from anyone, and he doesn’t do relationships. Until he responds to the severe beating of a senior citizen and meets the victim’s bow-tied, wealthy landlord.
Property manager and developer Colin Westwood grew up with all the things Nevin never had, like plenty of money and a supportive, loving family. Too supportive, perhaps, since his childhood illness has left his parents unwilling to admit he’s a strong, grown man. Colin does do relationships, but they never work out. Now he’s thinking maybe he won’t just go with the flow. Maybe it’s time to try something more exciting. But being a witness to a terrible crime—or two—was more than he bargained for.
Despite their differences, Colin and Nevin discover that sparks fly when they’re together. But sparks are short-lived, dampened by the advent of brutal crimes, and Colin and Nevin have seemingly little in common. The question is whether they have the heart to build something lasting.
Kim Fielding climbed to the top of my favorite author list in 2016 and remains there as the new year opens with the second story in the series that starts with Love Can’t Conquer. This one takes place shortly before, and then concurrently with, the first story and explores the complex personality of Detective Nevin Ng.
Nevin reminds me of one of those ferocious “ankle biter” dogs, like a Chihuahua or mini-Doberman pincher. He’s all bark and bite, a prickly little man who gets the job done. And the job generally involves working in the family unit where crimes against those who don’t have resources to fight back take place. He’s all heart when it comes to abuse and/or neglect of elderly or LGBTQ citizens, especially those who are weakest and don’t have a voice. Readers can easily surmise this is, in part, due to his own upbringing as a foster child who lived in fifteen homes between his preschool years and age eighteen.
Out and proud, Nevin is bisexual with a preference for males, and when he meets the gorgeous Colin Westwood while investigating a murder, he toys with the idea of some one-on-one with Colin in a bed, or against a wall, or on a flat surface… You get the picture. He also makes a lot of assumptions based on his initial impression of a flashy rich guy with a Beemer. But Colin proves to be very different from those initial impressions as Nevin learns over the next six months.
Colin was raised by two loving parents who value every day of his life—sometimes to the point of stifling him. Born with a rare heart defect, he fought his way through multiple surgeries to get to the point where he can live a normal, if not exciting, life. He’s the kind of guy who knows all the show tunes ever written, sings along with them, watches old black-and-white movies, and dreams of a wedding in a white tux when Prince Charming comes along. He’s also only a few inches taller than the diminutive Nevin and desires the man-with-no-heart from the moment they meet.
This story is their love story, and yes, there’s plenty of sex, but there’s also plenty of romance, sometimes the kind that sneaks up on a guy, so Nevin is ultimately shocked when he realizes his life is changing. And it’s for the better. There’s also a mystery, a bad guy with a gun, murders, and mayhem. There are brief guest appearances by a few characters from book one, always satisfying, in my opinion. And there are new characters, some of whom I fell in love with, particularly the elderly gentlemen Colin visits in his volunteer work, Bob and Ivan Thomas. Kim Fielding does not neglect the character-building for those who play a minor role.
Nevin’s is not the only life that changes over the six months in which this story takes place, however, as Colin finds his chutzpah, standing up to his boss, who happens to be his dad, regarding the redevelopment and rehab of older homes their land development company purchases in the city. When Nevin and Colin get together, it’s a win not only for them, but for those around them. Don’t miss a chance to meet these guys. I highly recommend this story to lovers of contemporary MM romance.